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Maharashtra's State Transport Department is contemplating allowing auto rickshaws in the state to function on an odd-even basis with the aim of restricting movement and reducing the number of vehicles on the streets.
Should the State Government approve, auto rickshaws with odd and even registration numbers will run on alternate days.
Maharashtra's State Transport Minister, Mr Anil Parb said that the ministry had put together a task force or a think tank to figure out different ways to restart public transport facilities. The Ministry will take a final decision next week.
Minister Parb said, "The idea is to start public transport in an organised manner and look into the issues faced by transporters."
As is, public bus services are not fully operational, while auto rickshaws have been permitted to function. The Ministry feels that all public models of transport need to function with a set of rules and regulations, and that an odd-even scheme could be one of the many mandates.
Auto rickshaw drivers however, are of a different opinion. Mr Nitin Pawar of the Rickshaw Panchayat said, "The state government should first shut the open permit system. Not many people are on the road, so only 40% to 50% auto rickshaws are operational."
"If an odd and even system is adopted, it will turn into a major issue for the drivers. Instead, the state government should use the scheme to regulate the movement of private vehicles as a crowd control measure," he added.
Maharashtra has roughly 10 lakh auto rickshaws registered across the state, with over 3 lakh rickshaws operating within the state's capital Mumbai, and its sister city, Pune.
The last time an odd-even scheme was in effect was at Delhi, wherein the primary goal was to ease pollution levels within the city. The national capital has witnessed an odd-even scheme twice so far.
Thoughts About The Maharashtra Transport Department Contemplating An Odd-Even Scheme For Auto Rickshaws
We're a bit on the fence about the odd-even scheme that might be in effect in the state of Maharashtra. While the Transport Department's idea to control traffic seems just, the Rickshaw Panchayat also makes a valid point about having the odd-even scheme extended to private vehicle owners instead of auto rickshaw drivers.